People can be alone at Christmas for different reasons, such as the death of a loved one, living far from relatives, or because of social isolation. If you have social anxiety disorder (SAD), and don't have close relationships with family or friends, you might find yourself alone at Christmas. Below are some tips to help you cope when loneliness seems hard to take.
Volunteering during the holidays is a way to connect with others, boost your self-esteem, and bring joy to people less fortunate. Consider offering to help serve dinner at a soup kitchen, bring gifts to a children's hospital, or visit lonely residents at a nursing home.
Perhaps you are alone this year because you turned down invitations. Call those people back and say "yes".
If being alone at Christmas is unavoidable, plan a day for yourself. Get a new haircut, buy a new outfit, choose your favorite foods and plan a movie marathon. Christmas is a day when you can indulge yourself without feeling guilty, so do it.
Host an Orphan Christmas
You are not the only one alone during the holidays. Plan an "Orphan Christmas" for those who have noone to spend the holiday with, or join a group of people in similar circumstances.
If you enjoy your work, and you have the option to work on Christmas, why not spend the day being productive? This is a great choice if your job involves interacting with coworkers or customers; being at work will help you feel less lonely.
Host an Online Christmas
Do you have online friends? Do you have long-distance relatives? Host an online Christmas by setting up a Skype chatroom or Facebook group. People can drop in and out as they please, and you don't have to cook, clean, or even get out of your pyjamas.
Take the time to appreciate what you do have in your life, be it good health, a place to live, or food on the table.
Plan for a better future. If social anxiety has left you alone at Christmas, vow to visit your doctor in the new year and get a handle on your anxiety.
Mind Over Matter
If you feel like you don't know how to cope with being alone, ask yourself "What if I did know how to cope?". You have more power than you think over your thoughts and how they make you feel.
If you are feeling really down about being alone at Christmas and can't pull yourself out of it, reach out for help. Call a friend, family member, or a helpline. You don't need to be alone.